Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and hundreds of foods made with these grains.

It is what gives dough its stretchiness and baked goods their chewiness. It is also what triggers celiac disease, a digestive disorder affecting nearly 1 percent of the U.S. population. If you’ve ever experienced the symptoms of celiac disease—abdominal pain, anemia, and skin rashes to name a few—you know the effect gluten can have on your body. According to the WebMD Celiac Disease Health Center, “gluten triggers an immune response that is not normal. This damages the inside of your small intestine so that it can’t do a good job of absorbing nutrients from your food.” One in 133 Americans has celiac disease and needs to follow a gluten-free diet.

While celiac disease may be a contributing factor to the increase of gluten-free products in stores, it is not the only factor. Some doctors recommend gluten-free foods to patients with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), reasoning that a change in diet might help with their condition. And while there is no hard evidence proving a gluten-free diet is appropriate for weight loss, more and more people are avoiding gluten in an effort to shed pounds.

Public demand for gluten-free products has grown in light of these factors, explaining why you see them everywhere now. Full Circle offers you a variety of gluten-free choices, from baking mixes and pastas to prepared dinners and snacks. To find a store near you that carries the Full Circle brand, click here.